Trade Deals Across the World: December Update
Another overview of trade deals in the news the past month. You can read last month’s update here.
The World’s Biggest Trade Deal, but Without India
The largest trade deal in the world is being negotiated in Asia. China has joined the 14 countries that have already agreed on the terms, but India has now pulled out at the last moment.
The Sino-U.S. trade war and rising protectionism have given new impetus to years of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which brings together the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
India has been worried that the agreement, which requires the gradual elimination of tariffs, would open its markets to a flood of cheap Chinese goods and agricultural produce from Australia and New Zealand that would harm local producers.
An advantage for the other countries of having relative heavyweight India in the trade pact would have been less domination by China, particularly at a time they see the United States as a less reliable trade and security partner.
Read the full article here.
EU-Singapore free trade agreement comes into force
The free trade agreement between the EU and Singapore has been negotiated for over 10 years. On november 21st the trade agreement finally came into force.
The Straits Times reports:
The landmark trade agreement between the European Union and Singapore, which removes nearly all Customs duties between the two jurisdictions, comes into force today.
The reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers under the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) provides Singapore companies with greater market access to all EU member states. It also contains rules on trade and sustainable development, including the protection of labour rights and the environment.
The experiences gained from the EU-Singapore FTA will also help guide subsequent rounds of discussions for a trade pact between the EU and Asean, he added.
The agreement is the first between the EU and an Asean member state.
Read the full story here.
Japan Moves Ahead with Trade Deal with US
U.S. trade officials are still negotiating with China, with U.S. lawmakers on the U.S. Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. But it appears they are gaining ground on one major trade agreement, opening up new opportunities for U.S. ag exports.
The lower house of Japan’s parliament on Tuesday, Nov. 19, approved the U.S. trade deal that would slash tariffs and set up new quotas for U.S. farm goods, according to reports out of Tokyo.
Passage by the lower house sends the pact for consideration by the upper house of Japan’s Diet and U.S. officials are hopeful that a quick, full ratification will allow the trade deal to go into effect within several weeks.
Read more here.
China-U.S. Trade Deal Delayed Until 2020
Completion of a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal could slide into next year, trade experts and people close to the White House said, as Beijing presses for more extensive tariff rollbacks, and the Trump administration counters with heightened demands of its own.
Negotiations also are complicated by conflicts within the White House about the best approach to China, and by the fact that Trump could veto any agreed deal at the last minute.
Read the full article here.